Is There A Best Time Of Day For A Blog Post?

I have spent a lot of time considering the question posed in the title of this post. I have read where people have stated certain things about when the best time is to have a blog post show up and overall it’s mainly based on guessing rather than any real science. Well, I’m not a scientist, but I figured I’d talk about what I’ve noticed and leave it at that.

by Robbert van der Steeg

The first thing I’ve noticed is that I get notified of my blog showing up in feeds usually around 8PM. Now, I’m not sure if that’s a universal time for everyone or if it’s just my universal time and everyone else has it at the same moment but different time based on where they are but that’s how it works for me; yes, I subscribe to all my own posts so I can make sure they come through properly on all my blogs. All of them will show around the same time whether or not I’ve posted them live or wrote them ahead of time to post. So, whenever I put out a post, I always try to have it out before 8PM my time.

However, that’s just when it shows up. What about when I actually post? I have experimented with different posting times based on traffic and two things seem to happen. One, I have a group of people who will comment fairly early if I get a post out between 9AM and 10AM my time. Most of those people are either in the U.S. or in Australia; very strange indeed. When I was sending posts out between 10AM and 11AM most of the time they were being ignored. And if I send it out in the afternoon, when I thought more people on the East Coast had a chance to see it, they were ignored as well. So I’ve settled on an initial posting time between 9 and 10AM.

I’ve also experimented with reposting my articles at some time in the evening here and there. What I’ve seen doing that is a few people might pop over, but most of them are coming by overnight, once I’ve finally gone to bed, which either means they’re seeing my repost late or are just getting around to the original in their readers. Frankly I’m not really sure, but based on how fast Twitter moves I’m thinking it’s probably people seeing the original post.

However, there is one last metric to look at, that being Google Analytics. Over the last month I’ve made sure all my original posts on this blog have gone out between 9 and 10AM. Based on traffic, the top 3 time periods where this blog gets the most visitors are 9-10AM with 5.46%, 1-2PM at 5.39%, and 4-5PM at 5.35%. The first one makes sense, as that’s when I’m posting. The other two times… no idea.

I’m not sure what to conclude based on the numbers here. I could say it’s proof that most people come when I post, but it’s barely above the other two times so that makes no real sense. Based on when I get the feed in my reader it makes no sense. Therefore, overall I’d have to say that it seems that there’s no good time to post, and thus people should just post their articles whenever they feel the most comfortable.

Heck, I kind of like that; no real rules to follow; who’s with me? 🙂

42 thoughts on “Is There A Best Time Of Day For A Blog Post?”

  1. Hi, Mitch. I am with you there on following no rules when it comes to blog posting. It would be so hard for me to abide by any rules considering that I am always snowed under by the other aspects of my business besides blogging. But, it would be cool to know if there is a secret formula out there or even a magic time frame we can use for blog posting so that we can get the comments that we want. 😉

    1. I’m with you on those points, Wes, but at least I did some of the research for you so you won’t have to. 😉

  2. I can not disagree with you Mitch. Every time is good for post. Some metrics and RSS feed software are based on local time and I think this can be changed in settings. I have experiment and have similar thoughts and was scheduling articles for one of my customers. Generally we get some traffic lift related to Google alerts, if post is done early in the morning.

    1. Thanks Carl. Testing at least confirms this, and I’m thinking it’s a good thing for most of us.

      1. May be I can add that, probably scheduling posts can work really well for localized business blog, again with combination with Google alerts.

  3. I never follow rules about posting times, I do follow rules about when to Tweet my new posts, according to various analytics. So, everything else comes after that. For example, if I find out it’s good to Tweet my post at 2pm (my time), I obviously try to get it out before then.

    1. So 2PM works for you, Gabriele, whereas between 9 and 10AM works for me. How interesting it all seems to be.

  4. I never really thought about posting times. I notice that no matter when I post during the day, the email announcement to my subscribers goes out about 4 PM my time and then I see activity. I know you are good for at least a post a day, so I just pop over here. I haven’t been able to post with regularity for a while now, so I think people just wait to get the email in my case. I totally get the times for increased blog hits. 1-2 is when most people take lunch and 4-5 is the end of the workday. Killing time til it’s over! 😉

    1. Ah, I hadn’t been thinking in that fashion, Jess; it kind of makes sense to me now that you mention it.

      Did you get my message about the problems I’m having getting through your captcha? Why’d you go that route?

      1. No, I didn’t get your message. I’ve been getting hit with about 600 of those insane trackback spam links a day. I read about Mollom online and it was supposed to work well, but it was blocking all of my comments and I refigured it and it worked for a day and now all the trackback spam is coming through again. I turned it off. I’m not sure what to even do about this. It’s driving me crazy!!!

      2. Jess, what you do is load the GASP plugin, then go into the settings and uncheck the box that allows trackbacks. Do that and all that stuff will stop; it did for me anyway.

      3. Dennis, if one has to make choices, it’s the best one to make if you ask me. Actually, it messes us up more than it does the person who might have added your link to their blog, but so be it.

      4. Dennis, you might but I wouldn’t. Truthfully, if you felt that your trackback was worth all that then it means, at least to me, that you’re posting to get the trackback and not because you care about sharing where you got information from. I could care less about the trackback; it’s a courtesy and “thank you” for inspiring me to write something, whether I agreed with you or not. And if people have a WP blog, then their dashboard will alert them to the fact that someone possibly mentioned them in a post. Frankly, if I had to choose between 20 spam messages an hour coming through as trackbacks or having someone cut me off I’d go with the one and not worry about it. And when it was bad months ago for me, it was at least 20 an hour; those things had to go.

  5. Wait, you can set times in Feedburner? Now I have to go look at that; I didn’t realize it was customizable like that.

    1. Yeah, I found that right after I wrote back to you. Amazing stuff you can do in there.

      1. Dennis, this would be a great idea because it’s pretty comprehensive stuff and I’m betting most of us aren’t using it to its full potential. Feedburner definitely offers us great potential for growing our internet presence.

      2. Really? That’s one I never had any problems with. I just use the PrtScn and my photo editing program.

  6. Hi, Mitch.

    I am glad there are no rules to blog posting or I would have worried about that to no end because I don’t follow any. But, I really appreciate what you did, testing and all that…Makes the job easier for the rest of us (especially new me). So, thanks!

    But, Mitch. I can’t seem to find your Retweet or Tweet button or is it just me? Would have loved to send you that chocolate cake… 😉

    1. Kim, I should have that Topsy button at the top right of every post; if it’s not there then it never finished loading when you came to the blog, but I just checked and there it is. As to the rest, every once in awhile I’ll do some tests or research and come up with something to share and then possibly debate on. Always something new to write on; course, I’m going to be checking in more often to see how much you have to say about 3D rendering, which I have to admit thus far I don’t understand except to say I think the images are pretty neat.

      1. Yey! I see the retweet button now. 🙂

        And, thanks for visiting, Mitch. I totally agree with you. The renderings look great. About the rendering itself, well, it takes time to really digest. 🙂

  7. Hi Mitch

    Some of the geeks that are into stats say best time for posting is morning US time as people check their emails before going to work! I post about 8am US time but I don’t know if it makes any difference.

    Think it depends on the topic published, how much response I get and the traffic that flows.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    1. Pat, I always think it’s topic as well. I’m one of those people who starts off each day checking my email also; bad habit sometimes that I’m going to have to work on. lol

  8. I don’t know about time but I have noticed that my traffic drops, as do my comments, over the weekend. I find this strange as that’s when I expected it to increase? Perhaps being the weekend people have decided to take a break from blogging and commenting.

    1. I always thought there would be more activity on the weekend also, Sire, but I guess like you that people actually turn their computers off more on the weekends to go do other stuff. Maybe I need to find a life as well. lol

  9. One of my clients lives in PA.. and it seems he always wants me to schedule his posts early around 7am.. But I remain skeptical if there’s really a factor with time posting.

    1. As we’ve kind of established already, John, it seems to only be an issue if you have people specifically looking for your posts at a certain time of the day.

      1. I see. I think it would also be much more effective if your audience is based at the same location. But, you don’t need it when you’ve already established a good amount of audience.

      2. That’s pretty true, John. One still has to hope the audience will be reading on a consistent basis as well.

      3. Well, consistent audience is the thing that makes bloggers keep going and happy! I do hope your blog is doing well. 🙂

      4. Of course you can do better! One of best feeling we can have in our life is being motivated in what we do.

  10. Dennis, I’m thinking if you’ve been reading you saw that Jessica lamented all the spam she’s been getting. I actually wrote a post on this new trackback spam a few months ago and mentioned that I learned that the GASP plugin will stop it if you change the settings. Are you saying you’d just rather have all that garbage spam on your blog and everyone else’s blog, even at 20 an hour, so that you can get your link shown on someone else’s blog as a trackback? If there were other options I might agree, but in this case I don’t think it’s about being selfish at all.

    1. Dennis, as I said, I was getting 20 or more of those trackback spams every hour for awhile, which was freaking me out. That’s why I changed things up; I’m not sure if it will still occur if I turn it off. By the way, it wasn’t just this blog, but my business blog that was getting that many as well. My other two blogs got some, but not close to that amount.

      1. Dennis, believe it or not I’m not a total idiot, or even a partial one.

      2. Dennis, I never said any such thing; that may have been implied. You’ve been reading my stuff for years now; wouldn’t it seem as though I were new on the block if I hadn’t done some things more thoroughly to resolve my issues? And, as I said, I wrote about the issue awhile ago in some detail on this blog. The thing is that it was trackback spam without a definitive link many times. Yet, as soon as I unclicked the box that says block trackbacks and all that spam immediately stopped coming; put 2 + 2 together and you knew it was trackback spam. It’s my expectation that a lot of this stuff moves around, goes after someone for awhile and then moves on to someone else. While some people are getting a host of it, others aren’t, but their time will eventually come. Kind of like the attacks my blog keeps getting trying to break into the blog, both through the firewall and in trying to figure out my username and password. I have those covered with plugins also but it’s one of those things where for a few days I get a ton of notifications, then I could go a couple of weeks without getting one at all. Still, it helps knowing how to defeat those things without people resorting to things like captcha, math stuff, moderation, etc.

  11. Every time I got an idea I would just post it to my blog. Even in the weekend when most of the people took a rest. Nice topic, Mitch. There is certainly no rules to blog posting.

    1. Thanks Andrew; I look at it all just to make sure, and it seems most folks are happy there are no real rules here.

  12. As I’m nearly nocturnal, I’ve found that when I post just before I go to bed, which is often at about 2am UK time, by the time I get up in the morning… er, late morning… there will be comments from Americans and Canadians waiting for me. I rather like this ‘wake up’ from those whose world-time is different from mine.

    However, when I do scheduled posts I either do them for 10am and catch Europeans on their tea break (!) or I just take whatever time comes up and do it for specific date ahead… in which case, I catch whoever is passing at that moment. It’s kinda like fishing in unknown waters.

    Years ago, when I had a blog on a different bloghost, I always ‘caught’ Americans with my late-night posting habit and told them that I loved the wake up call, so a few people started posting ‘good morning’ to me each day… which was fine for a while, but I think they then thought they had the excuse not to say anything else, lol!

    1. That’s an interesting thought Val, posting before going to bed then waking up and having comments. That’s never occurred to me, though I don’t see myself changing now. But it’s kind of neat to think about.

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